The Importance of NAP for Your Local Listings
When you think about online marketing, often the importance of your offline presence seems almost incidental. But an important aspect of marketing is building up your local SEO rankings. In addition, in while letting people know what you know and what you do matters, helping them find out who and where you are is paramount. Unless your business is solely an online entity, you have to be able to help your customers find you.
This is where NAP enters the equation. NAP, an acronym for name, address, and phone number, applies as a rule for improving your local SEO rankings. Building out your content library helps bring people in and thus represents a crucial aspect of your SEO strategy, but giving your contact information in a consistent, searchable way remains key to letting your local customers find you.
Place Within Text
To build NAP information into your local SEO strategy, you must first ensure that the information is searchable. While logos containing your name, address, and phone number often look good on your website, internet searches cannot flag image files in the same way they flag text instances of the information. Including text-based headlines and copy that contains your contact information allows Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search software to identify the information and connect it to your local business.
In addition to visible text, adding your NAP information to your metadata and html text further allow the searches to find you and connect local searchers to your business. You need to be careful not to stuff your NAP terms, of course, as this triggers the same spam filters that knock other instances of keyword-stuffing down the search rankings. The usual rules that limit keyword concentration apply here just as to other kinds of keyword phrases. Still, making sure you include and optimize the information on your website will help you build and lift your local rankings higher.
One of the reasons NAP data helps your rankings is that having a physical address and landline phone number builds your reputation score. Having and listing this information legitimizes your company in Google’s eyes; after all, most fake companies would not provide information for you to find their physical non-presence. Further, as listing sites and companies disperse this data through the web, the growing presence with reputable sites and information databases further boosts you in local searches.
Unfortunately, the potential for errors in your NAP data can cause you significant problems. You need to scrutinize your website to ensure the information is presented the same way each time. Any misspellings, typos, or other inaccuracies can lead to your business being presented as having more than one listed name, address, or phone number. These inconsistencies reduce your reputation score and thus your local search rankings. In addition, they make it more difficult for people to find you.
Join Local Listing Sites
Your own website is not the only place you might discover errors. Any listing sites that contain information on local companies and/or companies in your industry can create problems if they contain errors in your business name, your address, or your phone number. This information is shared and collected across the internet, so once a listing error occurs, it can wreak havoc before you are even aware.
To avoid this situation, you should review your information on as many of them as possible: 411.com, yp.com, foursquare.com, Yelp, Google+, and any other general or industry-specific listing sites that may contain your information. Further, you can join most of these sites for free, and claim your listings to ensure they are, and remain, accurate.
This process cannot be a one-time thing. While an initial check of all information you can find is prudent, it remains only the first step. Your local SEO rankings will tumble as soon as an error occurs and starts to proliferate. Taking control over your listings can go a long way toward ensuring that mistakes don’t creep into your listings.
Connecting You Online
Internet marketing for local SEO may seem like it pulls your marketing out of the physical world. Focusing part of your attention to your name, your physical address, and your phone number builds a connection between your virtual marketing presence and your tangible presence in your city and neighborhood. It helps your local SEO by giving it a company and a place to which it can connect, thus sending you the customers who can benefit most from the products and services you provide.
All of this effort to build out NAP data on your website and protect the accurate information on other listing sites can be time-consuming. Hiring the right local SEO company to help take this off your plate can allow you to spend more time on running your business and less time writing marketing copy and correcting errors. 1st in SEO can be your partner and ally in this process. Contact us today to get started.